Gutsy Na Li to make Serena wait for Cincinnati final appearance

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Bar losing her first set of the tournament to the up-and-coming Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, it has been a largely trouble-free route to the last four of the Cincinnati Masters for Serena Williams.

The American world No. 1 has now won six sets in a row, losing just 13 games in the process, and she is the 1/9 favourite to dispose of China’s Na Li in her semi-final.

However, despite holding a 7-1 career record against the current fifth best player in the world, Williams hasn’t always had it all her own way against her.

In the last five completed clashes between the pair – all of which Williams won in straight sets – there has been at least 21 games played, a record which makes the evens on offer for there to be over 19.5 games in the early hours of Sunday morning a very tempting price.

It is certainly more appealing than the 1/3 on Serena booking her place in the final with a 2-0 victory, whilst those with an even stronger feeling that Na Li will take the American close might like to back the first set to go into a tie-break, which is available at a large 15/2.

Should Williams come through the tie then she’ll be facing the winner of Victoria Azarenka and Jelena Jankovic in the final, and recent form suggests that it’ll be the 1/5 Belarusian who progresses.

Azarenka has won the last three meetings between the pair in straight sets, something that she is priced at 8/15 to do again here.

But given that none of those matches lasted beyond 18 games, it could be that the total games market is again worth some consideration.

With the line set at 20.5 and Azarenka is such good form against the Serb, the 8/11 on offer for the match not to see at 21st game looks tasty.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publication

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